Unite to Protect Water Supply

The Villages at Round Hill includes folks who have just arrived in Loudoun County and some who have called Loudoun home for years. That they have been caught in the middle of the water debate between the town and the developer is unfortunate and unfair.

Loudoun is still a place where people who don't know each other wave as they pass on the road. New residents are always welcomed, and those who made homes in the Villages at Round Hill are not to be blamed for decisions made by previous public officials. Yet water is a life-sustaining resource for which we must all take responsibility.

When little Round Hill makes The Washington Post ["Capital Swelters, Heat Records Topple, Utilities Struggle," Metro, June 9] and Channel 5 Fox TV news, you know something serious is happening, or not happening. Record-low rainfall this spring has left Loudoun dry and dusty, and we are wondering if our wells and reservoirs will meet our demands.

Recently, the Loudoun County Sanitation Authority and the Town of Round Hill have called for restrictions, asking us not to wash our cars or sprinkle lawns with precious drinking water.

Ten years ago, many of us cautioned that the water supply in western Loudoun would be insufficient for large-scale development. As a community, we need to put that behind us now and work together to get through the drought. I have confidence that residents will respond to this call and respect the warnings of those who are keeping watch over our dangerously low water levels. We must remember that our water is most needed for our physical well-being and public health, and it's okay to drive a dusty car and let the lawn wait during a water crisis.

Since I have been in office, I have been proposing an initiative to create a county ground water monitoring program for western Loudoun, a critical program for the long term, but one which needs to be implemented now, not later.

Such a program would enable policymakers to know the availability and quality of water wherever in the county development is proposed. A ground water monitoring program has also been endorsed by the Rural Economic Task Force to ensure our agricultural viability.

Our water supply is not monitored today because our previous Board of Supervisors (1992-1996) made an unwise decision to cut costs by abandoning all efforts to monitor ground water adequately.

What could be more penny-wise and pound-foolish? We can no longer compromise the health of our current residents in order to blindly move forward with development. Let us all, in neighborhoods new and old, private individuals and public officials, work together as responsible citizens to protect our shared community resources.

ELEANORE C. TOWE

Blue Ridge District Supervisor

Round Hill

No Grace in McWatters's Defeat

After each election cycle the citizens of Loudoun County have come to expect the losing side to begin beating up on the winners, because they just can't seem to move on. This phenomenon has clearly begun early in the race where Del. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun) beat Supervisor David G. McWatters (R-Broad Run) almost 60 percent to 40 percent.

Mr. McWatters has now begun trying to vindicate himself by declaring that the reason he lost was because he "didn't go negative" in his campaign tactics.

However, if I recall correctly, I received four very negative and essentially deceitful mail pieces from his campaign. I heard from others about negative phone messages that they had received from his campaign office, and I read numerous outrageous statements that he made about his opponent in the local news. If that was his idea of taking the high road, that makes for a very sad statement.

As if there weren't enough real issues to talk about, Mr. McWatters complained on television and in the papers that Black's campaign signs were planted in the right of way. I sensed real hypocrisy when I saw many of his own signs placed in the right of way all along Route 7, and even within the town limits of Leesburg!

Most importantly, Mr. McWatters does his own reputation no good, nor the Republican Party he represents any good, by launching post-election attacks on another Republican, especially after the voters made their choice so resoundingly clear.

There is an old saying that states, "You can tell a lot about a man who wins graciously, but you can tell a lot more about a man who loses graciously." Mr. McWatters makes me feel real good about having supported Dick Black.

J. SCOTT NEWMAN

Sterling

Del. Black Not Majority's Choice

Before he launches his ultraconservative crusade based on a self-proclaimed mandate, it would be appropriate for Del. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun) to partake of a quick overview of reality.

Six percent of the registered voters came to the polls for the House of Delegates District 32 Republican primary June 8. Since only about two out of every three adults who could vote register to do so, we are down to 4 percent of the adult population, and 41 percent of those voters voted for his opponent.

The bottom line is that Mr. Black was chosen to be the Republican candidate by less than 2 1/2 percent of the adults in his district. Considering the way he mobilizes his zealous supporters to vote, that is probably the near total extent of his support.

Such a showing does not constitute a mandate. A more realistic interpretation would be to consider the significant absence of support to be a major repudiation of his past and projected activity.

Mr. Black should not completely forget or ignore the fact that he is supposed to represent the other 97 1/2 percent of us also. His record so far does not give much indication that he understands that principle. Has anybody else noticed that growth rate and sprawl didn't show up on his to-do list until May 23 and were off his list by June 9?

When the 96 percent of you who could have voted but didn't get stuck with his undesirable results, you have no one to blame but yourselves.

I certainly hope that the character defects so evident in the recent campaign do not lead the general public to believe that these reflect the typical standards of honesty and integrity in the officer corps of the Army, which has little, if any, capability to effect corrective action with its retirees.

RAY W. CHAMBERLAIN

Ashburn

LETTERS WELCOME

Loudoun Extra welcomes your opinions, which run on Thursdays and Sundays. Letters, which may be edited for length, should include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers so we can verify authorship. Deadlines are noon Tuesday for Thursday publication and 6 p.m. Thursday for Sunday publication. Send them to:

Letters to the Editor

305 Harrison St. SE

Leesburg, Va. 20175

Fax: 703-777-8437

e-mail:

lextra@washpost.com